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Correction to This Article
The March 18 Names & Faces column included a quote that was attributed to Britney Spears via Allure magazine. The quote was actually a spoof, written by a Philadelphia Daily News reporter, of an Allure interview with Spears. The spoof was then picked up as an actual quote by MSNBC.com.


Friday, March 18, 2005; Page C03

Identity Crisis

And you are . . .?

"The only really useful thing about aging is, you can legitimately forget everybody's name," Monty Python legend Eric Idle, 62, tells Men's Health. "I have started to do this on purpose, as they get wonderfully angry."

Like who, you ask? Idle -- whose highly anticipated musical "Spamalot" opened last night in New York -- claims his fave people to name-prank are . . . "Spamalot" director Mike Nichols and his wife, Diane Sawyer. " 'This is Colin Powell,' I'll say when introducing Mike to someone, 'and you know his wife, Madonna.' [Diane] smiles, but I know she wants to kill me.

Former Monty Python member and deliberately forgetful Eric Idle at the theater where "Spamalot" opened yesterday. (Stuart Ramson -- AP)

"I haven't a clue who most people are. Only the other day at some function I asked a gray-haired chap with piggy eyes what he was doing these days. 'I'm still president,' he said."

Well, it's not the Holy Grail of jokes, but we'll take it.

Uber-Manse on the Market

We have it on good authority that the Hollerith House, a tony 11,400-square-foot mansion in Georgetown, has gone under contract after about a week on the market for the $8.5 million asking price, or so The Post's Sandy Fleishman tells us. Locals remember the mansion for having set a neighborhood record in October '01 when Washington interior decorators Todd Davis and Robert Brown sold it for $6.3 mil. No word yet on who will take over this time from Swiss investor Joerg Burkart and wife Marie-Louise.

Powell: Born to Be Wild

You guys curious about what our former secretary of state is up to these days? (Aside from getting frisked and wanded by airport security?)

The New York Daily News says Colin Powell happily divulged that info the other night when a fellow dinner party guest at the Kuwaiti ambassador's residence inquired. "I get into my shiny, red Corvette, drive up and down the George Washington Parkway and try to outrace the Park Police," Powell said.

Surely he's not turning outlaw, is he?

Noted . . .

The James Taylor-of-the-now-set John Mayer thinks the so-cool-they're-hot band Black Eyed Peas, which sings "Let's Get it Started," is, well, overrated. In the latest issue of the rap mag XXL, Mayer declares: "Black Eyed Peas seem cool but what they're doing has the least amount of substance I've heard in any pop music. Ever. It's like, okay. When DOES it get started?" Ouch . . . Demi Moore insists to People mag that there's no merit to all this pregnancy chatter swirling around. "The rumors are just that: rumors," she says. Meanwhile, her boyfriend, Ashton Kutcher, 27, joked with reporters after Britain's tabloid News of the World wrote that the 42-year-old mother of three was preggers with Kutcher's child: "Why am I the last person to find out everything? I'm going to be a daddy? God, no one tells me anything" . . . Ah, Fox News host John Gibson kindly enlightens us in his online column about that topic, homosexual marriage. He writes: "Gays can't have kids -- other than going to the abandoned kids' store and getting one or two, or borrowing sperm from someone with more sperm than brains -- so by definition they're out of the marriage game."

. . . and Quoted

"It's this reality. Like omigod, I have to tell the maid to buy diapers and get the pool boy to walk the dog? Can't I just make out with Kevin all the time? Being married sucks."

-- Britney Spears, complaining in Allure magazine about her grueling life as a stepmother to Kevin Federline's two kids.

-- Compiled by Anne Schroeder

from staff and wire reports

© 2005 The Washington Post Company